In-Home Care – Creating A “Care Team”

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,342
    Mary Alexander with Home Instead Senior Care provides some tips for how to help you balance work and in-home care. This video focuses on how to get support for your care giving activities to bring more balance to your life.

    Mary Alexander: Hi, I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. And today I am talking about how to balance work and family care giving responsibilities. Now we are going to talk about how to get support for your care giving activities to bring more balance to your life.

    According to a national survey conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care Network, 72% of adults who are currently providing care for an aging loved one do it without any outside help. To avoid burnout and stress, you need to enlist the help of other family members, friends or consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver. Asking for help is sometimes difficult, but there are a few surefire ways to enlist support. Let's discuss those.

    First, give each person a responsibility. For example, since your parents live with you and you are responsible for groceries and meals, have another family member be responsible for the medical aspects of care. And another who will take mom or dad to social activities. Even if a sibling lives a thousand miles away, make it his or her responsibility to visit for a week or two each year to allow you to take your own family on vacation.

    Whatever the work agreement, do make sure to converse with other family members about your elderly relative, including their debilitating health or amount of time you are spending caring for them. The more you keep them up-to-date, the more likely you are to enlist their help.

    If family and friends are helping out with care giving duties, remember to be flexible. There is more than one way to care for some one. And everyone has a different approach and style. It may not be the same as yours, but sometimes it's important to let go of the little things.

    Speaking of letting go of the little things, one way to find more balance is to rethink some of your standards. For example, an unmade bed or a sink of dirty dishes won't impact the quality of your life. Do what needs to be done and let the rest go. Another way to find time is to track everything you do for one week. Include work related and non-work related activities. Decide what's necessary and what satisfies you the most. And then cut out or delegate activities you don't enjoy and don't have time for.

    One of the ways to get more balance is to take a break from your care giving duties by arranging for Respite care. Respite care is a short term temporary care, provided to someone who needs assistance so that a family caregiver can take a break from the daily routine and challenges of caring for an aging adult. Respite Services may sometimes involve overnight care for an extended period of time or just a few hours per day. Respite is often referred to as the gift of time. Another way to provide some balance is to contact for in-home care services for your senior loved one. These professional caregivers are trained especially in servicing the needs of the senior population and can give family caregivers a much needed break. Some of the services they provide include personal care services, house cleaning, meal preparation, transportation and errands or shopping, as well as companionship for your loved one.

    Creating a care team that includes both family and outside help can go a long way toward maintaining a work-life balance. In the next video we'll talk about some ways that you can find some balance at work.